Laser Hair Reduction / Removal with LightSheer™
In the past, the usual remedies for unwanted hair were plucking, shaving, waxing, or chemical depilatories. Some are painful, messy, and all are temporary. It typically takes months of regular visits – even for small areas, like the upper lip. Now there is a more effective solution, the new LightSheer™ Diode Laser, specially designed to remove unwanted hair faster, with less discomfort, and more reliability than other methods. We offer this state-of-the-art technology in addition to hair removal via the IPL.
What can you expect?
The length of a laser session may be a few minutes to an hour or more, depending on the size of the area being treated. Because the laser tends to treat hair follicles that are in an active growth phase, multiple treatments will be required to disable hair follicles that subsequently enter this growth phase.
Laser treatment itself may cause a slight tingling sensation. Most patients tolerate the procedure well, but because some areas of the body are more sensitive than others, topical anesthesia can be applied which reduces the discomfort.
The appearance of the treated area immediately after a laser session will vary from patient to patient depending on the extent of treatment and skin type. Immediate after effects, if any are minor. They may include redness and swelling, which disappear in a short time. Most people return to normal activity right away.
Our nurse practitioner Marilyn Stotts featured in Highya.com discussing best practices in laser hair removal.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS CONCERNING LASER HAIR REMOVAL
Who will obtain the best results?
People with dark brown or black hair and people with light, white skin.
Who will have the worst results?
People with either light blond or gray hair. People with dark skin, either tanned skin and/or darkly pigmented.
Why do results vary from person to person?
No two people are alike as to hair color, skin color, and hair distribution.
How may treatments will it take?
Usually 4 to 6 treatments, spaced four to eight weeks part.
Is there any guarantee of results?
No, every patient will respond differently.
What percentage of the hair will be removed permanently?
Typically 60 to 99% of the hair can be removed permanently. Permanently is defined by the FDA as hair loss for one year or more. Please note that we cannot guarantee 100% hair removal. Repeat treatments may be necessary to maintain your improvement. With aging, new, unwanted hair may need repeated treatments. Currently there are no lasers available that will prevent hair from growing in the future.
What are the possible complications?
Burning of the skin.
Hyperpigmentation (darkening) of the skin.
Hypopigmentation (lightening) of the skin.
Infections of the skin (unlikely).
How much does it cost?
Prices will be discussed at the time of the consultation.
We have been told that there are three phases of hair growth. Why does this matter?
There are resting phases and one growing phases for the hair cycle. Only hair in the growing phase is effectively treated by any laser system. Hair that is in regression or resting phases will not be affected. At any one time, only 20-50% of your hair is in the growing phase. This is the major reason why multiple (usually around four) treatments are required.
How does the laser work?
The laser light targets pigment (melanin) in the hair shaft. The melanin absorbs the laser energy (heat) and damages the hair follicles. The melanin in the surrounding skin can also absorb the laser energy. There is a balance between burning the hair follicle vs. burning the skin. People with a lot of melanin (tanned or naturally dark) may burn.
Do females that have excess patches of hair on their face, acne and irregular periods need a hormonal work-up first?
Yes, they may have an underlying hormonal problem that needs to be corrected.
What medications are contraindicated?
The use of Accutane more than six months prior to the hair laser procedure. Also, stop the use of any Retin-A products, glycolic products and Renova for at least 5 days prior to any treatment sessions. The clinician who treats you will discuss your health history any medications.
What pre-treatment care is required?
Shave the area you want treated 1 to 2 days before coming to the office. Keep these areas out of the sun as much possible and use at least an SPF 30 sunscreen if sun cannot be avoided. Do not wear make-up or deodorant over the area you want treated when coming for treatment. Do not pluck or wax the area for at least four weeks before treatment.
What post-treatment care is required?
Usually patients will have a mild burn to their skin for a few days. Keep the area moist with aloe vera product, aquaphor or comparable moisturizer. Occasionally, a steroid cream my be prescribed. Basically treat the area as you would a skin burn, keeping the skin clean and moist. Do not use chemical depilatories for two weeks after the procedure. Please use sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater on the treated areas for 3 weeks following the treatment.
Is it painful?
On a scale of one to ten, most patients call it a 3 or 4.
How soon will the hair fall out?
Surface hair will come off immediately, the “root” in 2 to 3 weeks.
How many sessions will it require before I notice significant results?
Most people notice a modest improvement within a couple of weeks. 2 sessions are usually required to demonstrate a difference in the amount of hair. Typically after just one session, people notice very little change.